How people drive decarbonisation in shipping

David Levy
April 26, 2021

The destiny of decarbonisation is in our hands

Much as IMO 2020 regulations dominated the discussion in maritime at the end of 2019, the topic of decarbonisation has occupied the industry during this first half of 2021 (we’ve covered the issue, too and one our solutions, Comply, aims to simplify the process of reporting related to sustainability and decarbonisation). Some weeks, as Richard Meade of Lloyd’s List wrote recently, the news can be particularly green” saturated:

Over the past seven days we’ve seen the UK confirm that it’s adding shipping into its emissions targets, the US has pulled off an impressive post-Trump U-turn joining the push at IMO gunning for absolute zero by 2050, shipowners are demanding market-based measures from the IMO as soon as possible and the European Commission has set out exactly what shades of green are going to be able to get green financing sending a clear message to shipping that it is currently the wrong hue…it’s been a busy week. 

In addition to the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee announcement in June 2021the interest in decarbonisation has been around new build designsinvestment strategiesfuel cells and carbon trading schemes. Together these initiatives portend an exciting prospect: At some point in the future the global fleet will be completely transformed with vessels that consume different fuels, supported by financial instruments and market-driven incentives that drive sustainability and deliver long term return.   

But that prospect will take decades to manifest.  

In the meantime, tens of thousands of people come to work every day both on ship and on shore who make decisions that impact efficiency, profitability and the decarbonisation of their vessels and fleets. These people work in operations, chartering, technical management, the bunker desk, risk claims, demurrage, legal and finance, not to mention all the people who work at ports and other support functions. Think of the hundreds of thousands of individual decisions they make every day, every week, every month, quarter over quarter. 

Making these individual decisions in the most informed manner--Where to lift bunkers?  Which route to follow?  Which cargos to pursue? How fast to steam?  How long to sit idle at port?  When to dry dock?  Which berth will expedite discharging?—requires the collaboration of people, the coordination of systems and the transmission and curation of data across all of those workflows.   

Now imagine that staff in different departments and offices have access to a technology stack that pulls in data from existing systems and data feeds, extends and adapts to their ways of working and is available anytime, anywhere behind a single unified interface. A dream? Actually, it’s reality.   

Orbit’s technology, supported by a network of forward thinking partners does just that. We have already built this dream. 

Orbit is technology innovation hub that is open, extendible and intelligent, powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning that delivers actionable insights in the form of dashboards, alerts and visualizations to staff in real-time via desktop, and smartphone. No matter what department, teams tap into the same source of truth, allowing them to optimize each micro decision while seeing the macro picture of the entire business. As we like to say, they can Sea the Big Picture℠. 

While the industry slowly and steadily moves towards transforming its hardware, it must work to transform its software. That can happen today. Right now, the destiny of decarbonisation is in our hands.



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